Chapter LVIII.—Sitting in Judgment Upon God.
When Aquila had thus spoken, then I Clement said: “To-morrow, my father, you shall speak as you please, and we will gladly hear you; for I suppose it will also be gratifying to you that you have to do with those who are not ignorant of the science which you profess.” When, therefore, it had been settled between the old man and me, that on the following day we should hold a discussion on the subject of Genesis—whether all things are done under its influence, or there be anything in us which is not done by Genesis, but by the judgment of the mind—Peter rose up, and began to speak to the following effect: 829 “To me it is exceedingly wonderful, that things which can easily be found out men make difficult by recondite thoughts and words; and those especially who think themselves wise, and who, wishing to comprehend the will of God, treat God as if He were a man, yea, as if He were something less than a man: for no one can know the purpose or mind of a man unless he himself reveal his thoughts; and neither can any one learn a profession unless he be for a long time instructed by a master. How much more must it be, that no one can know the mind or the work of the invisible and incomprehensible God, unless He Himself send a prophet to declare His purpose, and expound the way of His creation, so far as it is lawful for men to learn it! Hence I think it ridiculous when men judge of the power of God in natural ways, and think that this is possible and that impossible to Him, or this greater and that less, while they are ignorant of everything; who, being unrighteous men, judge the righteous God; unskilled, judge the contriver; corrupt, judge the incorruptible; creatures, judge the Creator.
[This discourse of Peter is peculiar to the Recognitions; it resembles somewhat the earlier discourse to Clement in book i.—R.]